As you can see, it’s a recurring topic in my blog, the one I really love. Inspirational stories about women who changed the world, on a small or large scale, or simply about women who changed their lives being important leaders in businesses.
Why am I so interested in this topic?
On the one hand, it’s obvious… Because I am a woman, a successful business woman. Looking up to role models is important for us, and being a reference is important for the next generation. You can say that, as a woman, I can have male role models, and that any other businessman could look up to a female role model. And you are right. It’s completely true, and, in fact, there are many male role models that give me inspiration in my career.
But, whereas there are sagas and endless lists of men who inspire humanity by their intellect, ingenuity, achievements, fortunes or simply because they have been great charisma in history, there aren’t that many stories of successful women, if we compare. And that’s why I like bringing up some names that serve as inspiration for women who want to be in a similar position.
I can say that we are lucky to live in these times, because in most of the world, women can get education and decide on their own lives and careers. But the fact that it hasn’t really been very long since the times when it wasn’t possible means that, no matter how modern we are, there is still a bit of work in progress to turn it into an ordinary thing. And another thing is that it also means that we lack recognizable figures throughout history.
Although there are great examples of scientists, inventors, painters, writers, doctors and, of course, business women, at different times in history, it’s also true that we didn’t really look into this fact.
And the main problem is that we keep leaving it out of consideration. As a rule, women in big companies admit their merits and talents much less often than their male peers. We underestimate ourselves. We turn away and think about the family as our main responsibility, rather than about a shared business project. This attitude leads us to take fewer risks when it comes to take a step forward and go for a goal.
There is also an obstacle we all should overcome, it’s the perception. According to several studies and social experiments, an entrepreneur is perceived differently depending on being a male or a female. The same person, with the same achievements and the same way of dealing with their colleagues, team or employees, is considered a perfect leader when presented with a masculine name, but is received negatively with just a female name.
Why is this happening? Perhaps, it’s because society is not used to it, no matter how much we talk about women being in charge and having the same qualities and skills as men. We are expected to be softer. We are caregivers, mothers and sisters. But not bosses. And that change into a business woman is kinda striking. As I said before, the problem is that, although we have made a great progress in civil rights, historically it’s as if it had happened yesterday. And that perception of power in women is also something that can make it more difficult for you, or even discourage you from trying, because you cannot lead those who won’t follow you.
This is what I’m looking for in the stories of successful women: an inspiration to say “it’s absolutely possible to get there”. There should still be more such stories, sharing space with all those great male entrepreneurs, visionaries and pioneers. When we finally begin to accept that life and business is something human, genderless, we will be able to see rooms filled with so many men and women, debating ideas with the same ease, being perceived in the same way, only differentiated by their own achievements and talents, as human beings, as professionals.
Tomorrow, professionals of the next generation will look up to the people who inspire them, regardless of the gender of each. And posts like this one will disappear, because they will no longer have sense, because men and women will stand out in their own right. We will talk about successful people, successful leaders.
But until then, let us work to make more the lists, those of successful women, working hard, leaving behind our complexes and claiming the value of what we have achieved with our effort.